Speed is of the essence
Delta's machine operators have become so comfortable with the grade control systems on their compactors and big dozers that there is the risk of them fine grading when all that is needed is rough grading.
"Our operators are so prideful of their work that they are turning out fine-grade results when all we need is a faster rough grade result," says Chambliss. "The machine control systems are on those machines so they don't overfill or underfill. I want them to be close, but not necessarily exact, because in the end it's all about speed."
Delta Construction's contract calls for completion of the project in 12 months. "With our crew of 15 – rather than the 20 to 25 we would have needed without the Trimble survey and machine control – we'll complete everything in six months," states Chambliss. "But on this site, it's not about the time deadline; it's about the material. The money is made or lost in the material. And here's where the systems really demonstrated their value."
Jeff Winke is a business and construction writer based in Milwaukee, Wis. He can be reached through www.jeffwinke.com.